Could a person today live a sinless life?


Do you think it is possible that a person born today could be inspired, taught, and never sin through out their life?


Without mortal sin? Definitely.

Without venial sin? Probably not. That would take a special miraculous interposition of God which we have no reason to expect.



I suppose it might be due to some divine intervention for someone to do so, but assume for a moment they did; lived a perfect life, no mortal or venial sins.

I think it is possible however unlikely. The point being, with this assumption in mind that person would have no need of reconciliation.

I have read other threads about original sin, I think I understand the position of the Church, but can’t quite reconcile it to myself. If the assumed perfect life was lived today, what sin was commited that needs cleansing?


Original sin is a completely different thing entirely from personal sin. OS is a blot that all human souls have on them from the moment of conception - resulting from Adam and Eve’s sin. It is not the result of anything personal you or I do. Like a car that comes out of the factory with a flaw in it.

Os still needs cleansing though, just like a factory-made flaw in a car needs fixing regardless.


A person can only live a holy life by grace.

The highest work of grace is to prevent sin rather than simply forgiving it.



By himself alone no. With the help of God’s saving grace, he can live by not sinning.


That is where I have my issue. I think we were created perfect as all things God created was. I think we are still born in that perfect state. The act of definace by Adam and Eve was the exercise of their Free Will. God said we shall not eat of that fruit, for on that day we would surly die. I read that more of a warning, not a commandment. More like a parent telling their child don’t touch that hot stove because you will get burned.

He knew that we might make the wrong choices to decide what is good and evil for ourselves, but being created in His image, He could not deny us that choice if we so chose it. He told them there was a cost to such decision making, but not that we couldn’t (but shouldn’t) make it.

That’s how I see it at least right now.


Let me clarify about being created perfect. I’m not sure I guess. After creating Man, God Blessed them and unlike the other creation days he says it was very good, not just good.

25God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

He didn’t Bless the other days individually, just the 6th day.

That is the state in which I think we are born today.


Adam and Eve and the Garden were perfect. Perfect because they were with God in His Holiness. So when God said dont eat, they ate. God did give them the choice and they chose to be burned. Then they had to live with that burn and the results of it. Which was losing perfection and the Holiness of God.

One interesting thing I always thought was wonderful. After they were out and Eve had a son she said * With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”*

She was joyous and not blaming God and realising although out she was still loved and not abandoned. That God also left the Garden and went with them.


But that gets to my point. Adam and Eve got burned. A person today could abide by the example of Jesus and live a sinless life, whether assisted by Grace or not- that not being the issue right now. We know the stove is hot and don’t have to touch it. We can learn from our ancestors and live the life as initially intended. Admittedly it is a lot harder now, because the knwoledge of good and evil has been loosed, which is called original sin.

One interesting thing I always thought was wonderful. After they were out and Eve had a son she said * With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”*

She was joyous and not blaming God and realising although out she was still loved and not abandoned. That God also left the Garden and went with them.

Yes, That is interesting. I’ll think on that tonight. Looks like I’m re-reading Genesis tonight.


I’ll say one last thing on this before I go to bed; this is one reason I have questions about limbo and the dispensation of the unborn who die, and/or unbaptised babies that die.

John baptised with water, Christ said He baptised with the Holy Spirit.


14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’

That whole discourse in Mark 7 (Matthew 15) is pertinant I think.


A correction. He Blessed the last 3 days individually. On the 5th day when God created all the animals, on the 6th day when He created Man, and the 7th day.


certainly it is possible, we have the witness of the saints on that. Is it likely? Not much. Is it possible in any other way than through grace? No. Do only a few chosen few receive the grace? no, it is freely available to all the baptized. Do all the baptized accept and act upon that grace? no.


Even with baptism and regular reception of the Eucharist, there is still a weakness towards sin which is called concupuscience. While in some of the stories of the great Saints of the Church with great grace they were able to lead lives of extraordinary virtue, even Saints constantly had to fight very difficult temptation and spiritual warfare no matter who they were or where they were, in the desert, the monastic cell, or the city.

St Gregory of Nyssa said the divinised life in God’s grace has no final end point, but also that at each moment this requires constant and ongoing personal choice to co-operate with God’s grace. The Church’s classifications of sins basically reflect the choices we can make in each situation, for or against God and the partaking in the divine nature.




Man has free will.
Sin is an act of the will.
This means that in any given situation, a man could choose to sin, or could choose not to sin.
If we say that a man could not go through his life without sin, then we are saying that there will be at least 1 situation in his life where he must choose to sin. Thus denying him free will. Of course this is impossible.

Hence it is possible to live without sinning.

But my above argument seems to suggest that it’s possible to live without sinning by one’s own power - simply by always making the right choice. If the grace of God is necessary to choose not to sin, it means without the grace of God, then we have no free will, but that’s impossible.

Great, now I’m stuck in a heresy, I think it’s called Pelagianism (to suggest that man can live a sinless life without the grace of God). Um, let me dig myself out of here.

Maybe, some of the grace of God is always “turned on” in everyone. So because the grace of God is always on, then we always have free will / always have a choice to not sin. If we want to sin, then we can turn off the grace of God in ourselves. Then we will have no choice but to sin - but ah, the moment we turned off the grace of God in order to sin, was the moment the sin occured. The actual completion of the action was just the consequence of our choice to turn off the grace of God and will to sin. I think such an idea, crazy as it sounds, explains how man can always have free will without resorting to Pelagianism.

And then, when the person decides they don’t want to sin any more, they can turn the grace of God back on (even if they don’t know that it’s called that - by deciding of their will that they want to stop sinning, the grace automatically becomes available). Hmm, doesn’t actually seem much of distinction though… a person lacking the grace of God could not choose to avoid sin, but can choose to get the grace of God back, which in a person who doesn’t know God, involves deciding they don’t want to sin… is there a difference between choosing not to sin and deciding that you don’t want to sin anymore?

Hope so, I don’t really like being a heretic…


I have to think on all that for a bit, but thanks.


There have been many people who never committed an actual sin (actual sin is a sin that someone himself commits, as opposed to original sin which is inherited).

Children who die never having had the use of reason, for example, have committed no actual sin.

Regarding people with the use of reason and the will:

Actual sins are by definition intended.

Things that are intended (the object of the will) are not things that are absolutely unavoidable.

However, the will is weakened by original sin.

Thus, it is only possible by God’s grace to avoid sin. It cannot be done by nature alone. However, sin is not something that we have to do. By definition, an actual sin is only the result of choice.


all things considered I think it would be hard to live without the occasional mortal sin…missing mass on account of football games isn’t a valid excuse in the churches eyes I think:nope:


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